Trivia night for Allen family

The Allen family – Opal and Shane, Paige and Tate. Picture: Mathew Lynn

When Paige and Shane Allen met in Cairns eight years ago, they knew straight away they were soulmates.

They’re now living in Bacchus Marsh and caring for two kids, Opal and Tate, who are the “apples of their eyes” … but they are battling tough times.

Mr Allen, 41, was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer on May 5. Just seven days later, the family was told the cancer was incurable and the tumour inoperable.

While the primary tumour is in his oesophagus, Mr Shane has secondaries in his neck, behind his collarbone and on his aorta.

“The effect that the cancer has had on Shane is extreme in every way – emotionally, mentally, physically,” Ms Allen says. “Our future is more uncertain than ever, but we have to handle our emotions for the sake of our kids.

“We are still dreaming of our future as a family, as though the cancer doesn’t even exist; otherwise we are in a constant state of grief.”

The formerly healthy, fit man has gone from weighing 84 kilograms to “skin-and-bones” at 63 kilograms, and looking like a “withering man”.

The days take their toll on the Allen family, especially Paige, who has to juggle a toddler, a crawler and her husband. “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I never could have imagined the struggle being so huge,” she says. “To be honest, I have been struggling. I feel overwhelmed and lost in it all sometimes.”

Ms Allen’s former dance teacher has organised a trivia night to raise money so the family can unwind, de-stress and make some memories during a planned trip to Cairns.

“It will be our first family holiday since we’ve been married and had our two bubs.”

The trivia night is on Saturday, August 1, from 7.30pm at St Bernard Parish Centre, Bacchus Marsh. Tickets cost $10.

Details: 0423 630 581